For Release: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Washington, DC — Last night, the Senate reauthorized a federal ban on non-detectable firearms — non-metallic handguns that can evade airport metal detectors and X-ray equipment — which was scheduled to expire yesterday. The ban was first signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The House also passed identical legislation last week, and President Obama has signed the bill into law.
Unfortunately, the Senate rejected a stronger measure that would have required permanent metal inserts on firearms. This would have forestalled the possibility of using 3-D printing technology to manufacture a gun with metal parts that can easily be removed.
“Members of Congress should be commended for renewing the undetectable firearms ban, which is an essential tool for preventing terrorist attacks on airplanes,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “However, lawmakers still need to take the next step and prohibit weapons that can avoid metal detectors using the latest 3-D printing technology. This action will ban firearms that were a danger 25 years ago. We are still waiting for Congress to address the security challenges of today and tomorrow.”
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